What Is Suppressive Therapy
Suppressive therapy involves taking an oral antiviral drug every day for prolonged periods. It interferes with the herpes virus reproductive cycle and so prevents or dramatically reduces the number of recurrences. When recurrences do occur, they are usually less severe and shorter lasting.
If you find the frequency of your outbreaks unacceptable, or if you are finding it difficult to cope emotionally with having recurrences of genital herpes, tell your doctor and discuss the use of suppressive therapy.
Know How To Talk To Your Date About Cold Sores
Cold sores are less serious and more common than genital herpes. In fact, since 66% of the population has HSV-1, odds are good that your date has also experienced cold sores from time to time too!
You are under no obligation to discuss your personal health concerns with your date, particularly before you kiss them. But if you’d like to , you can make the facts clear. You can let them know, for example, that you cannot get genital herpes simply from kissing someone with HSV-1.
What Happens If I Dont Get Treated
Genital herpes can cause painful genital sores and can be severe in people with suppressed immune systems.
If you touch your sores or the fluids from the sores, you may transfer herpes to another part of your body, such as your eyes. Do not touch the sores or fluids to avoid spreading herpes to another part of your body. If you do touch the sores or fluids, immediately wash your hands thoroughly to help avoid spreading your infection.
If you are pregnant, there can be problems for you and your developing fetus, or newborn baby. See Im pregnant. How could genital herpes affect my baby? above for information about this.
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Rejection Is A Part Of Dating For Everyone
No matter if you are just dropping lines on Tinder, or meeting up with a cutie at a bar rejection is a universal part of dating. Putting yourself out there inevitably invites possible rejections. And, we wonât act like rejection is easy. Itâs not. It can hurt. If you disclose your herpes to a new person, and they opt to not take on the risk of transmission, know theyâre just not the right person. And thatâs okay.
- Talk to your partners about this early.
- Know your facts about herpes transmission risks and how to manage your outbreaks. This will reassure your new partner. Donât tell them to âGoogle it.â
- Know that youâre going to find your person. Youâll find someone who wants to work through this with you.
- Who knows this virus is so common you might disclose to someone who is preparing to disclose the same thing to you.
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Some people even drop the fact they have herpes into as many conversations as possible because it helps destigmatize it. Other people wait until theyve got more of a rapport with their dates in hopes that it will encourage their partner to stick around even after disclosure. Its up to you, but you dont want to wait too long.
It is imperative to tell your date when you know sex is imminent not after. You also dont want to wait until youre getting hot and heavy. In the moment one of you might freak out, or you might not take the appropriate precautions.
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What Should You Discuss About Herpes
Talk about when it is safe to have sex. “Some important information to share would be whether or not you have frequent outbreaks, which is the highest risk time for transmission,” Dr. Baldwin said. Avoid sexual activity during a symptom outbreak, or if you have pain or tingling in the areas you get lesions since that can be a warning sign of an outbreak.
You should also tell your partner if you are on any antiviral medications. Taken daily, drugs like acyclovir and valacyclovir , can significantly reduce the risk of herpes transmissionbut not 100%. You should use condoms even while taking these drugs, but condoms cannot fully prevent the virus from spreading because the virus can spread on genital areas not covered by a condom.
As long as you’re honest and safe, herpes shouldn’t kill a budding relationship. “From my point of view, I don’t think it’s a deal-breaker,” Warren said.
How To Talk To Partners About Your Herpes Diagnosis
Telling a partner or potential partner that you have herpes can be nerve-wracking, but its best to do early on so you can weed out people who have a problem with it, says Stephen Snyder, M.D., sex therapist and author of Love Worth Making: How to Have Ridiculously Great Sex in a Long-Lasting Relationship. You need and deserve the acceptance that only someone who’s truly comfortable with it can give. So, best to advise a potential partner of your herpes status before you fall in love with them, he says. Also, best to tell them before too many articles of clothing get removed. After all, you don’t want anyone to feel pressured or uncomfortable.
Some people may even mention that they have herpes in their online dating profile to weed out people who are uncomfortable with it right away.
That said, you dont need to tell all your dates about your STI status immediately, if thats stressful for you. Snyder recommends bringing it up by the second or third date, or whenever sex is on the table.
Its helpful to provide a prospective partner with as many details as possible, including how often you have outbreaks, what you do for treatment or prevention, and what your preferences are regarding barriers, says Snyder. Have a starter script prepared. Something like, I need you to know: I have the virus that causes genital herpes.”
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How To Reduce The Risk Of Spreading Herpes
There are ways to lower the risk of spreading HSV-1 to your partner. If you have an active outbreak, avoid letting the affected area touch your partners skin. Concerned about transmitting the virus when no symptoms are present? Using a protective barrier like a condom or dental dam can reduce the risk.
Should I Tell My Partner That I Have Hsv
Discussing health issues isnt sexy, but it may be necessary. There are a few things to keep in mind when deciding how to talk about HSV-1.
Nearly half of Americans have been exposed to HSV-1 by their 20s. The person youre kissing may have already been in contact with the virus. If you dont have any symptoms, the chance youll spread it by kissing is relatively low, notes Dr. Anthony which is why he wouldnt start off talking about it with someone new.
As intimacy progresses, especially to oral-genital contact, you can give your partner a heads up by saying something like: I had cold sores in the past. I dont have any now. Together, you can make decisions about what you feel comfortable doing based on risk.
Having an active outbreak makes talking about it doubly important since youre much more likely to spread it. Also, having open sores makes you more susceptible to acquiring a sexually transmitted disease like HIV from your partner.
Open and honest communication can help protect you and your partner from catching an illness, says Dr. Anthony.
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Hsv Singles: How To Handle The Diagnosis
First, understand that a herpes diagnosis is not a judgement about your moral character or whether you deserve romance and love or not. One in five people are affected by herpes in their life, so it is hardly any great stigma these days. When you reveal your diagnosis to a potential partner, you may discover that they already have experience of their own.
Revealing that you have genital herpes is a must. Have a calm discussion so the other person understands the facts. Let them ask questions. If they get insulting, move on. You do not deserve ill treatment.
How Has My Partner Caught Genital Herpes
If your partner has only just been diagnosed as having genital herpes, this does not necessarily mean that he or she has been unfaithful to you, or sexually promiscuous in the past.
Your partner may have caught genital herpes from you. It is possible that you carry the virus without knowing that you have it since up to 80% of people who have been infected with HSV-2 have either no herpes symptoms or such mild symptoms they are unaware they have the herpes virus. So it is very easy for you to have unwittingly transmitted the infection to your partner. The symptoms of the infection vary greatly between individuals it might be totally unnoticeable in you but cause severe blistering in your partner.
Since the genital herpes virus can be transmitted through oral sex as well as vaginal sex, it is also possible that your partner caught the virus from a cold sore on your mouth or face. Remember, it is possible you can pass the herpes virus on even if you didnt have a cold sore present at the time of contact.
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Using Herpes Dating Sites Vs Std Dating Sites
The main difference between herpes dating sites and general STD dating sites is STD status. All members of a herpes dating site are living with either HSV-1 or HSV-2.
On a general STD dating site, you may encounter members who are living with a variety of STDs in addition to herpes. The most common STD options youll see when setting up a profile on a general STD dating site are:
You have the option on most STD dating sites to set search preferences where you can select which STDs are acceptable in potential matches. For example, if you are HIV-positive, you may filter your searches to only see other members who are also HIV-positive.
To learn more, check out our complete guide to STD dating sites.
Put Genital Herpes In Context
People may have an irrational, inaccurate perception of genital herpes. Since its a sexually transmitted virus, they may group it in the dangerous STDs category of their mind, often beside diseases and viruses with much more severe symptoms.
Because of this, its often necessary to follow up the I have herpes part of the conversation with some quick statistics to provide context.
One way to do this is to let your partner know how common it is. According to the World Health Organization, when it comes to HSV-2, an estimated 11 percent of the world population ages 15 to 49 have the virus meaning you can correctly and accurately let your partner know that at least one in ten people is infected with the virus.
To put it in context, you can ask your partner to imagine that one in ten of the people they met that day have the exact same confession to make at some point, assuming they know theyre infected. Sometimes, this is all it takes to put genital herpes in context as a common type of virus.
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What Do I Need To Know About Dating With Herpes
Some people feel like their love lives are over when they find out they have herpes, but its just not true. People with herpes have romantic and sexual relationships with each other, or with partners who dont have herpes.
Talking about STDs isnt the most fun conversation youll ever have. But its super important to always tell partners if you have herpes, so you can help prevent it from spreading.
Theres no one way to talk about having an STD, but here are some tips that may help:
Keep calm and carry on. Millions of people have herpes, and plenty of them are in relationships. For most couples, herpes isnt a huge deal. Try to go into the conversation with a calm, positive attitude. Having herpes is simply a health issue it doesnt say anything about you as a person.
Make it a two-way conversation. Remember that STDs are super common, so who knows? Your partner might have herpes too. So start by asking if theyve ever been tested or had an STD before.
Know your facts. Theres a lot of misinformation about herpes out there, so read up on the facts and be prepared to set the record straight. Let your partner know there are ways to treat herpes and avoid passing it on during sex.
Tell your past partners too, so they can get tested.
Learn How To Treat Cold Sores Fast
When you feel the tingling of a new cold sore in the morning before a date, you don’t have to cancel your plans! You can learn how to treat your cold sores as fast as possible. If you spring into action right away, you’ll likely be able to shorten the outbreak.
Cold compresses and ibuprofen can be used to minimize swelling. Get lots of rest, eat nutritious foods, and stay hydrated. Red light therapy can also significantly shorten the duration of an outbreak.
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Benefits Of Joining A Herpes Support Group
After you are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection like genital herpes, there are several steps you need to take to deal with the news. First, you are required to talk to your doctor or a healthcare professional, take your meds and learn to live with the virus. Joining herpes support groups is one of the best ways to get resources and tools for living with herpes.
If you are feeling alone and isolated, there are numerous benefits to joining an HSV-2 support group.
Other benefits for joining a support group for herpes include:
The most important benefit of a herpes support group is that it is a source of hope where it would have otherwise been lost. By being in a social group with people who have overcome the stigma associated with HSV-2, you learn to hope for a better future and discover that you can still find love, enjoy sex and date even with herpes. On the other hand, if you need a grief support group then mensgroup.com has you covered.
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When Are Cold Sores Contagious
Youre most likely to spread the virus when you have symptoms. These include blister-like sores in and around your mouth. For many people, a tingling sensation or itch precedes a visible outbreak.
Cold sores usually heal within seven to 10 days. But, says Dr. Anthony, that doesnt mean contact is entirely safe afterward. You can shed the virus even when you dont have any lesions. Its less likely, but theres still a risk.
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Membership And Getting Started
You have the option of two membership tiers that include different features and prices. With the Basic Connect plan, you can message other members, see your profile views, and perform local searches.
- 1 month: $29.95
- 6 months: $89.70
- 12 months: $131.40
The Safe Connect plan includes all of the Basic Connect features plus private video chat, call, and text.
- 1 month: $45.95
- 12 months: $215.40
- 24 months: $262.80
When you create an account, youll create a username and password and enter some basic information to build a profile. Youll also provide and verify your email address and mobile phone number. Next, provide more specific info about your lifestyle, appearance, values, and habits.
There are many different types of searches you can perform from your profile homepage. You can perform a quick or advanced search using various preferences, like gender, age, location, ethnicity, religion, body type, etc. You can also perform a living with search to view only members with herpes.
Your profile sidebar provides quick access to other site areas and helps you organize your matches and messages. You can:
- Send and receive messages
- Access account settings
You also have control over your personal info. Find a quick exit button at the bottom of each page for discreet browsing. In the Account & Settings tab, you can edit your personal information, including your email address and password, or permanently delete your account.
Makeup Can Hide The Worst Of It
If you develop a cold sore that just won’t go away and want to go ahead with your date, all is not lost. While you may not be able to conceal the entire cold sore from view, makeup can work wonders to hide the worst of the visible signs.
You’ll want to refrain from applying a beauty product to an open sore, but by the time the sore starts to scab over, you can use lipstick, concealer and foundation to hide it from view.
Be sure to use disposable cosmetic applicators to avoid transferring the virus to a different area of your body.
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How Long Will I Need To Take The Treatment
Many people who use suppressive therapy say that they get so used to taking the tablets or capsules they are happy to continue with the treatment.
If you choose suppressive therapy, you do not have to stay on it permanently. If you prefer, you can take it until you feel in control of the herpes infection, but this is usually a period of 6-12 months initially. Your doctor may suggest you stop the suppressive therapy for several months after you have taken suppressive therapy for some time, in order to assess how active your genital herpes remains. If you are still having problems with herpes recurrences, you and your doctor may then decide that you should start suppressive therapy again.
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